Samuel Pisar became a Harvard-educated lawyer and statesman out of the horrendous beginnings of a Nazi concentration camp. He eluded death sentences twice while watching hundreds of fellow Jews die in gas chambers. He escaped on a death march. A hardened and cruel boy, Samuel survived post-war Poland selling cigarettes and stolen coffee grounds. A French aunt from rescued him from the streets, and he began a new and completely different life.
In doing so, he provides a model for Christians trying to slam the door on the past: “I had to wipe out the first 17 years of my life,” he said. “I muted the past” and “turned to the future with a vengeance.”
When God made us a “new creation” and “born again,” it was to “wipe out” how ever many years were previously lived in sin.
Posted in Christianity
Tagged Bible, born-again, Faith, God, Jesus, jew, Judaism, new creation, new creature, overcoming, past, samuel pisar, sermon illustration
Quite accidently, I’ve discovered the formula for Disney. As a joke, I got pictures of me, made up as the Ghost of Christmas Future, with the happy little kids in the play with fearful faces.
It seemed the kids were drawn to me, playing high-five-down-low-too-slow and what not. Every kid wants to have a friendly monster as a friend. I was the monster.
But here’s the flipside. If kids like it, so do monsters. The beast gets turned into a prince. The bad guy becomes good. Innocent love executes a transformation.
Who wouldn’t want to restore to the pristine innocence and untainted joy his monster soul? That’s why Jesus was was “without sin.” His love is pure, uncontaminated, simple childlike glee. Jesus says we must come to Him like children. We can shed the burdensome cynicism of being an adult. We can leave behind sin like a snake its skin. This Christmas, accept the best gift you could ever receive, the Giver of gifts.
Of course, our church Christmas play was very much along the Scoorgian lines. While I was waiting my role backstage, my mind was running through a completely different plot.
Posted in Christmas, Jesus, monsters
Tagged adulthood, Bible, born-again, children, Christianity, church, disney, Faith, God, innocence, transformation
The butterfly is a symbol of the new birth in Christ. He starts as an ugly worm and gets transformed into the most beautiful and delicate of insects.
Such is the transformation Christ brings when you receive Him into your heart. Jesus says that in order to receive the Kingdom of God, one must undergo this miraculous and instantaneous transformation from unbeliever to believer.
Photo source: Pinterest.
This is perfect. By the smell on the object, the dog brings left items back to their owners while their still in the airport. Can I get one of these dogs to help me find my glasses, my keys, my agenda, my cell phone, my book, my jacket — my everything I lose.
I was sitting on top of the world when I was pastor in Guatemala. At home, my wife found everything I lost. At the church school, my secretary found everything. Even my daughter got in on the act. I was absolutely baffled how, as soon as she started, she’d follow a sixth sense and go straight to where the item lay — usually where I had already searched six times meticulously myself without finding it.
But now, my wife does engineering and doesn’t have time. I don’t have a secretary anymore. And my daughter is in college and is too sophisticated to deign to something so simple (for her) as finding stuff for doddering Dad.
Good thing my head is attached to my shoulders, or surely I would lose it. Good thing Jesus is attached to my heart, or a similar fate would be my demise.
Can you lose God? Actually this is huge controversy among denominations. Without resolving the conflict, I would like to point out that the prodigal son didn’t stop being a son. And, once you’re born again, the Bible mentions nothing about being un-born again.
I guess I’m a believer more in the unfailing love of God than in the failure-prone love of man. Man is fickle; God is faithful. If we are unfaithful, He cannot be so.
I have not intention of making a theological treatise or siding with one point of view entirely. I only wish to conjure much love, admiration and praise to God who loves us much more than we could ever imagine.
Posted in Christianity
Tagged born-again, dog brings forgotten items, Faith, family, inspiration, Jesus, KLM, life, lifestyle, losing stuff, salvation
Ultimately Ben Franklin’s attempts to reign in his flesh failed because making lists and checking off behavior charts smacks of religion. Only the Holy Spirit can truly change a person.
We just read in our literature class fragments of Franklin’s autobiography, and Franklin discusses a sort of perpetual New Year’s Resolution scheme he had. He charts his successes and expresses frustration over his failures. While laudable, human power trying to dominate human impulse is doomed.
Instead of a list of “don’ts,” your relationship with Jesus Christ is better seen as love. I didn’t adhere to a list of prohibitions when I fell in love with Dianna. I simply WANTED to be with her and to please her.
This is what the Holy Spirit does, those tongues of fire that descended on the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. Peter, the despicable coward who denied Christ to a child, didn’t need to psyche himself up to eloquence, despite the danger of testifying publicly to the Sanhedrin. Once the Spirit came on him in power, he just flowed.
Don’t strive for less of world but for more of God.
*original image from smashingapps,com by Jayan. You’re awesome. I don’t own the rights to it, and I’m not making any money on it. Thank you.
If you turn to God, it will be the beginning of beauty in your life.
Thanks Sarah Sue Jones for use of her original artwork. This was my interpretation of your painting. You are the greatest and have a great future. May God bless you! We will miss you.